Layered fresh strawberry meringue cake
( SERVES 10 )
When strawberries are in season, give this gorgeous dessert a go. Perfect for parties because you can make the meringue discs in advance, then assemble the cake just before eating.
For more dessert ideas for the season, go to the festive desserts collection.
|1½ cups||Caster sugar, divided|
|1 cup||Pecans, chopped|
|6||Eggs, whites, at room temperature|
|½ tsp||Cream of tartar|
|¾ cup||Mascarpone, cheese|
|3 Tbsp||Passionfruit curd, or passionfruit sauce|
|3 cups||Whipped cream|
|2 Tbsp||Caster sugar|
|4 cups||Strawberries, fresh, sliced|
|10||Berries, fresh, seasonal or use fresh strawberries|
- Preheat oven to 175 degC on fan bake. Bake pecans in an oven tray for 10 to 12 minutes or until toasted. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
- Reduce oven to 125 degC on fan bake.
- Cover 2 large baking trays with baking paper. Draw 5 x 20cm circles on each piece.
- In a food processor, chop pecans, 1/2 cup caster sugar and cornflour until pecans are finely ground.
- Whisk egg whites, salt and cream of tartar at high speed until foamy. Gradually add 1 caster cup sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, beating at medium-high speed until mixture is glossy, stiff peaks form and sugar dissolves (3 to 4 minutes).
- Lightly fold in half the pecan mixture, repeat procedure with remaining pecan mixture.
- Place a dab of meringue onto the corners of each baking tray to help stick down the baking paper.
- Scrape a heaped cup of meringue onto each drawn circle, then use a spatula to evenly spread the mixture.
- Bake at 125 degC for 1 hour.
- Turn oven off and let meringues stand in closed oven with light on for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until their surfaces are dry and they can be lifted from paper without sticking to fingers.
- Just before assembling the cake, stir together mascarpone, passionfruit sauce or curd and 2 tbsp of caster sugar in a large bowl.
- Gently fold whipped cream into mascarpone mixture.
- Place 1 meringue circle on a serving plate.
- Divide the mascarpone mixture evenly into five parts and spread one part over the meringue disc, scatter with sliced strawberries, top with another meringue disc and repeat process.
- For the final layer, decorate with strawberry halves and other berries in season. Drizzle with passionfruit sauce if you have it.
Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 2 hours. When strawberries are no longer available, any fresh berries will work.